Cubs Celebrate Almora Departure with Laugher at Diablo Park
Steve Clevenger laced an RBI double and a single and scored two runs, Jesse Hodges belted an RBI double and a triple and scored three times, Dong-Yub Kim doubled, singled twice, drove-in two runs, and scored another, and Jacob Rogers drove-in three runs with an RBI 6-3 GO, a triple, and a bases-loaded walk, as the Cubs drubbed the Angels 16-3 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning at Diablo Park Field #7 in Tempe, AZ.
This was the final Cactus League Extended Spring Training game for Albert Almora (broken hand rehab), as he will be leaving Arizona tomorrow morning, en route to join the Kane County Cougars. In six Cactus League Extended Spring Training games (28 PA), Almora hit 259/286/444, with four singles, one double, and two triples, one walk and four strikeouts, five runs scored. and two RBI. He also stole a base.
The Cubs 2012 1st round pick (6th overall), Almora sustained a broken hamate bone at Minor League Camp on March 14th.
Steve Clevenger (strained oblique rehab) was a DH in today's game, and got four AB. He batted once in each of the first four innings, getting called out on strikes in his first PA, rifling a line-drive single over the pitcher's head his second time up and then scoring later that inning, roping an RBI double off the CF fence in his third AB before scoring another run later in that inning, and finally grounding into a DP his final turn at the bat.
Because Clevenger was placed on the Cubs MLB 60-day DL on April 14th, he won't be eligible to be reinstated until June 13th. So once Clevenger completes his work at Extended Spring Training, look for him to spend a few more days on a 20-day minor league rehab assignment at Tennessee and/or Iowa.
Cubs 2012 6th round pick RHP Trey Lang got the start for the Cubs and had a poor outing, allowing three runs on three hits, four walks, and a HBP (plus a WP) in just 2.1 IP (63 pitches - only 29 strikes). Four Angel runners were cut-down on the bases in the first two innings of the game (two CS, one catcher PO, and one pitcher PO), or Lang's line could have been even uglier than it was.
17-year old Venezuelan LHP Carlos Rodriguez followed Lang to the mound and threw 2.2 IP of no-run/no-hit ball, allowing a walk to the the first man he faced before retiring the last eight batters in a row (4-3, F-8, K, 4-3, 3-U, L-6, P-3, L-1). Rodriguez will likely be one of the AZL Cubs starting pitchers this summer.
Here is the abridged box score from today's game (Cubs players only):
X. Steve Clevenger, DH #1: 2-4 (K, 1B, 2B, 3-6-3 DP, 2 R, RBI)
NOTE: Clevenger batted four times, hitting third in the top of the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th innings
1. Albert Almora, CF: 1-5 (F-8, BB, 1B, E-5, L-6, F-9, 2 R, SB)
2. Garrett Schlecht, RF: 1-4 (BB, K, BB, 1B, K, 4-3, R)
3. Rony Rodriguez, DH #2: 0-4 (F-8, K, HBP, P-3, E-5, 2 R)
4a. Jesse Hodges, 3B: 2-4 (3B, 2B, FC-E2, K, 3 R, RBI)
4b. Brad Zapenas, PH-3B: 1-1 (3B, R, 2 RBI)
5a. Jacob Rogers, 1B-DH: 1-3 (6-3, 3B, BB, 3-U, R, 3 RBI)
5b. SLOT WAS SKIPPED FIFTH TIME THRU BATTING ORDER
6a. Dong-Yub Kim, LF: 3-3 (2B, 1B, 1B, R, 2 RBI)
6b. Rashad Crawford, LF: 1-2 (K, 3B, RBI)
7. Danny Lockhart, 2B: 0-5 (4-3, 4-3, K, 3-1, 6-3, RBI)
8a. Wilfredo Petit, C: 1-3 (2B, 4-3, 3-6 FC, 2 RBI)
8b. Neftali Rosario, C: 0-2 (E-6, E-6, R)
9. Carlos Penalver, SS: 2-4 (L-6, 1B, BB, 1B, F-8, R)
10a. SLOT WAS SKIPPED FIRST THREE TIMES THRU BATTING ORDER
10b. Trevor Gretzky, 1B: 1-2 (4-3, 1B, R, RBI)
1. Trey Lang: 2.1 IP, 3 H, 3 R (3 ER), 4 BB, 2 K, 1 HBP, 1 WP, 1 PO, 63 pitches (29 strikes), 0/1 GO/FO
2. Carlos Rodriguez: 2.2 IP: 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 2 WP, 29 pitches (19 strikes), 3/4 GO/FO
3. Orbandy Rodriguez: 2.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K, 1 GIDP, 18 pitches (10 strikes), 2/3 GO/FO
4. Matt Iannazzo: 2.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 1 GIDP, 31 pitches (17 strikes), 4/0 GO/FO
CUBS CATCHERS DEFENSE:
Wilfredo Petit: 2-2 CS, 1 PO
CUBS OUTFIELD ASSISTS:
Garrett Schlecht - runner thrown out 9-6 trying to stretch a single into a double
WEATHER: Sunny & VERY breezy with temperatures in the 90's
Lineup: Fowler, Soler, KB, Rizzo, AJackson, Montero, Castro, Hendricks, Russell
I know he's struggles against lefties but Schwarber seems zoned in - hope he starts tonight.
Awesome stuff, Phil.
listening on ESPN 1000, caller says Bill Welke will be the home plate ump today. Supposedly his reputation is for having an even bigger strike zone than last night's Phil Cuzzi. Some of the issues with bad umpiring come from an inconsistent strike zone. Hoping at least for consistency. Last night's called strike on David Ross was outright embarrassing for Cuzzi.
That might work out in favor of Kyle Hendricks, who benefits much from a large strike zone.
it's kind of mesmerizing to watch
should Theo add some Ted Abernathy videos for minor league pitching coordinator's use?
sadly, Ted passed away in 2004 from complications of Alzheimers. I always loved the Cub bullpen trio of Phil Regan, Ted Abernathy and Hank Aguirre. As a kid, I even worked on both Phil Regan (very quirky delivery) and Ted Abernathy (extreme submarine) imitations when throwing a rubber ball against a wall. It wasn't a good imitation unless I could scrape my knuckles off the ground. I'll always have a soft spot in my heart for submariners.
HAGSAG: Chris Pieters was sent to instructs to develop his hitting, bunting, and outfield play (he is already a decent first-baseman).
Pieters is tall and rangy , a "long-strider" in the same mold as Trey Martin and Rashad Crawford. He is a very patient hitter (unusual for a hitter with his lack of experience) and has an outstanding (almost uncanny) eye at the plate, and he is a fast runner with unusually good baserunning instincts, and he is a good basestealer, too.
I doubt we will see Pedro in any more "high leverage" situations this series. With Hendricks and the pen today, we need Bryant-Rizzo-Castro to get going ASAP.
One funny thing to see before the game was the two submariner pitchers (David Berg and Corbin Hoffner) playing catch with each other. Both pitchers throw "submarine" even when they play catch, and it's kind of mesmerizing to watch, even for the other players.
CUBSTER: One of the points of emphasis at "basic" Instructs this year was teaching the position players the art of baserunning and base-stealing, like getting a good primary and seconday lead, reading the pitcher, cutting bases sharply, and different ways to slide to maximize the baserunner's chance to arrive safely.
Brooksbaseball.net has some interesting stats/graphs on pitch and strike zones and you can dial up individual games/pitchers. I'd love to see some comments from readers who can interpret this better than I can. I thought the Ump was really inconsistent with a very wide zone. Does this info seem to match up with my eyeball perception? Also, looking at the graphs, Lackey was not throwing as many pitches below the K-zone (certainly more above) while Lester was clearly getting his pitches down and not many above.
As I was fearing in my post yesterday, Maddon keeps trotting Strop out against the Redbirds and he constantly fails. I understand the psychology behind this, but in a series where there is a finite lock on who moves on, why does he keep riding the wrong horse?
AZ Phil: Agree, this must have been a really fun game to watch. There was a lot of base stealing going on. Are the pitchers not holding runners or is the catching still a work in progress?
Cuzzi has long been known as having the biggest strike zone among all umpires.
AZ Phil, give me a scouting report on Chris Pieters since he has become a 1B/OF.
I think it's probably hard to adjust to an ump's zone mid-game, as least for hitters. Pitchers can locate to an ump's zone, but hitters have minimal time to react.
But, whatever. Umps are going to miss calls. Let's beat up on the non-Lackey starters.
Watched a little of Mets-Dodgers.
Jason deGrom -- oh, my.